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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I was referred here by tyler (eazymoney) from the Legacygt forums. My car is a 2007 Legacy GT.

I am audio illiterate, and would like to learn more.

A couple months ago I decided to upgrade my factory speakers. I didn't really like the bass that they were putting out for 6 1/2"s, or just the quality in general. So I talked about this in the Audio section of the other forum, and everyone was like "Cleensweep" this, and "LOC" that, "Equalize" this...I was going to keep the factory HU. So long story short I decided to upgrade the entire system. HU, 4 Channel Amp, Speakers Front and Rear, Speaker Wiring, Sound Deadoning, and a Capacitor just in case I wanted to add another amp in the future.

I thought the job was pretty big, I'm an amature, but a believer that if you do a little reading and DIY it, saving $ is the way to go. Plus I got a little satisfaction after installation.

The doors were a raging PITA, I rewired all the speakers to the rear where the amp was. Did some sound deadoning, jerry rigged speakers spacers, installed the tweeter, you guys all know what I'm talking about. The HU was actually a much easier install, even with all the custom wiring. I had a lot of support while do all this.

I installed a Kenwood DNX 7180, JL Audio 650 C2s (rears), Alpine type r components (fonts), and a MB Quartz 4.80 amp. The wiring is all standard stuff, no high end wires.

So let me rant for a second....

Basically my new system sounds like crap. Like I said previously, I'm an amature, I don't really know how to tune these new stereos, and even an amplifier for that matter. There are a lot of settings to mess with, and this stereo doesn't have a bass, mid, and treble control? Weird. Whats this DTA setting, and sound enhancement, and trebble graphs and curves:eek::confused:????

The bass is worse than the stockers, which I was suprised about. Someone on the other forum said that mounting aftermarket tweeters in the stock location usually doesn't produce the best high end quality. I didn't need to upgrade the rears, I know that was a waste of money. I'm convinced I need a sub, But I'm hesitant to give up trunk space. When I play the music in the car, It sounds like it's only coming out of one side of the car (the passenger says the same thing) Does that mean the amp is turned up to much, because it's only half way on everything (Jeez I need someone to tune this thing:confused:)

I can post pictures of the install if you guys would like, But im not sure its going to help. Just let me know. :)

Well, I look forward to meeting some of you guys, and hopefully this will be a great learning process for me.

Cheers!
 

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Well, the knowledge you seek certainly is here.

First you have three issues far as bass you can make sure you have correct:

Is the phase right? Are you sure all the + and - are correct on the speakers and amps, you can d-load tones here and play something like 50Hz and fade/balance you should get more bass from two speakers than one. Do the fronts and rears separate. Reverse one and you should get less bass with both as they cancel out with the wrong phase (if it were wired right to start with). Listen to the tones while centered between the speakers. Then check front to back do each side separate.

Next is the install how did you mount them? Cancellation is an issue in doors, you have to try to close off the front to rear of speaker. So if you have a hole next to the speaker that is bad you need to cover it up, there are many threads here on ways to do that from wood to plastic to sheet metal to damping products. Damping is another issue you don't want the door metal vibrating all over, if you don't have a budget you can use peel and stick around door speakers though you said you did some of it. Also can be a good idea to foam around the speaker to the door panel so the sound has to go out, depending on the install like if the speaker is behind the panel. It is best if you cover the entire panel if it has holes all over it inside, but at the least do anything near the speaker.

Another issue is the EQ, if you have EQ in the HU you need to change it to the sound you like. Aftermarket speakers can have less bass because they handle more power, because they have better mid/tweets that put out more so the bass sounds less in comparison, all that can depend on the install. If it has a crossover it should be disabled or set to a very low setting like ~35Hz, if you don't have a subwoofer. Note small speakers played loud will distort sooner the more bass you try to get from them.

Subwoofer, sure it will help bass a lot. Factory speakers are often optimized to make some bass so they don't need a sub, but little speakers can only do so much so at higher volumes your system can provide you need a sub. Can you install a sub IB, meaning in the rear deck or into the seat with no box? Otherwise the right small sub in a small box can still make a difference, even the new alpine 8 a lot of people are saying is impressive for an 8 though a pair might be nicer. Some subs can handle a tiny box and some can't, so first figure out what you can fit or mount.

To get a good starting point on amp gain turn the gain all the way down, then turn the HU way up most of the time you can turn it all the way up and it is not very loud. Is the sound clear? Some HU are fine that way some you can only turn up maybe 75%. Reduce it to a clear sound, then turn the amp gain up until it distorts and back it off just a little. That should be in the range you want it, don't turn the HU up past where it can make a clear signal. Adjust the amp gain up/down a little if needed. Note if you turn the bass EQ way up on the HU it may clip sooner, it is not really a good idea to boost a lot with a HU EQ, or bass boost, or whatever kinds of EQ it has in it. bass boost on an amp can help at times but same thing try to minimize it as it causes clipping at high volumes. Boost on a full range speaker could really mess it up as it is mostly for subs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Shoestring, thanks for the detailed reply.

I checked the fronts/rears, they are correct, + and - included, and separate. The mounting has me slightly concerened. I had custome pvc speacers made for me. I don't know if the PVC might have something to do with the poor quality. I do know that Subarus have terrrrible acoustics. I should have put the foam behind the speakers......great idea

The doors are fully dampened. I read many "how-tos" on this and think I did a pretty good job. But then again, I'm an amature. I can post pics of the sound dampening if desired.

My fronts are components and do have crossovers. There is a separate screen to tune them and that is what I'm slightly confused about. I will see if I can set them at 35.

Yes I can install a sub in the rear deck! The subaru has an 8 inch slot. It raises concerned for me. Do companies really produce open air subwoofers any more? I can only think of one. And how will a regular subwoofer perform in there? I'm worried about the rattle, especially with the rear torsion bars being right under the deck. I do have leftover sound dampening.....

Also, for the money/time I would be spending on putting a sub in the rear deck, would a small 8" enclosure be a better answer? If I could put in a small dual 8" setup in the trunk behind the back seat that would be preferred. There is also an option to put a sub near the spare tire well. I'd rather not put it there because I keep tools in there and wouldnt want to lose that space.

Feedback is much appreciated. Thanks again, this is a great forum.
 

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The foam I was talking about is sealing between the speaker and the door panel if the speaker is behind the panel. Some put foam behind the speaker to help absorb the backwave, I don't bother mostly because I don't want foam in the part of the door that gets water in it. I guess you can get some special pads that don't hold water.

Some HU have a crossover and also a level control, the level is just another gain but you can use it from the driver seat. The EQ is of course your bass/mid/treble.

Sure use a box if you want, just saying an IB sub will take up the least room and give good low bass. You need more of them if you want to get loud, but 8s are kind of limited or don't get that low, depending. If you can fit a pair of 10s or better yet a 12 or 15 that would reach a lot lower unless you get some very good 8s. It is up to you what you use. There are a few IB subs out there, a lot of subs that will work IB with some EQ, and a few that are tuned right for IB. The pyles I use are one many of the pyles are tuned for IB, not sure why. I just wanted to try something cheap since I could fit a pair of 15s and it was overkill for me...so why spendy on sub I don't really need. Anyway the subs have high qts .7 and a low Fs 20Hz ideal for IB. What that means is they will try to play flat down to 20Hz when IB. A typical box sub with a low qts <.5 will roll off more and you will have to boost the low bass to get it flat. Those are 15s though, a 12 or 10 will not have as low a Fs. Should model them but in general expect them to play down near Fs. Cabin gain helps out here.

If you make a baffle (panel) from say 3/4 ply that fits the deck and mount it with weatherstrip, then hang the sub from it, you should not have much problem with vibration as the baffle will make the deck stronger and more damped.

If you like 'tight' bass then the 8s might work fine for you, if you like to get down to 30Hz then IB would likely do better. Also depends on how loud you want it. I plan to do a single 15 or 12 pyle in another car that still has stock system in it, I'm sure it will sound nicer than the 10 in a sealed box that is in it now and no more box in the trunk. That car is not really about loud, want to try to fit the 15 because it will go so low.

Of course IB will only work well if the trunk is closed off, so output is reduced if you fold the seat down or such.
 
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